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Brooklyn's Animation Weekend Showcases Some of Movie Industry's Best

By Janet Upadhye | July 26, 2012 7:10am

BROOKLYN — The tales of a celebrated entomologist haunted by his insect-collecting past, a hungry hobo whose food is taken by a greedy little pigeon and a poor kid in Brooklyn who turns his life around are told in the form of vivid moving pictures at Animation Block's Animation Weekend in Brooklyn.

The ninth annual festival is the largest animation festival on the East Coast, said curator Casey Safron who received more than 500 submissions from all over the world and whittled down the selection to 94 films.

"I based my decision on everything from pixelation to film length," he said. "After years of doing this, I think I have a good sense of what audiences like and respond to."

Safron's own film, Johnny Vegas, will also be screened in the festival. Johnny Vegas tells the story of a young graduate student who faces the ghost of his grandmother at a Vegas blackjack table.

Animated films from all over the world are set to be screened, and many of their makers will be there to talk about their work. Saffron said filmamkers from countries including Canada, Brazil and Mexico will be in the audience and available for discussion of their work after the screenings.

Some are from closer to home. Fort Greene resident David Levy's film Turning a Corner was inspired by his father. Growing up poor in Brownsville, Brooklyn, Levy's dad never thought he would go to college.

But with a little luck, a random series of events and some hustle he made it to Cooper Union.

"It's a very inspirational story," said Levy.

The festival begins Friday night at Rooftop Films in Williamsburg. Live music will start at 7 p.m. and at 9 p.m. Films will be screened from two large outdoor screens. Viewers will watch from lawn seating.

Screenings will continue on Saturday and Sunday at various venues including BAMcinématek and Habana Outpost, both in Fort Greene. Corn on the cob and beers will be served Sunday at Habana Outpost.

Also as part of Animation Weekend, a trade show will be held in BAM’s Levitt Lobby on Saturday. Local businesses like Greenlight Bookstore and By Brooklyn will have arts and crafts for sale.

For more information and a full schedule visit Animation Block's website.